Question: What do some of the fastest growing bass fishing techniques in the country have in common? Answer: Many of them involve light line. Dropshotting, split shotting, wacky worming, “shakey head” jigheads and straight tail worms; the list goes on!
Question number two: What is more frustrating than trying to play a big bass with light line? Answer: Trying to play a big bass in cover with light line!
To a fisherman, few things are as frustrating and heartbreaking as feeling the steady tug of a good fish go limp. There is no doubt that all the above techniques are effective, but in heavy cover, light line is futile.
Many anglers do not realize that most of these tactics can be used on heavier line, also. With a good baitcaster (or a larger spinning reel and heavier-than-average rod) and some heavier line, these tactics can be effectively used in thick cover. With fluorocarbon line, (mono can be used, but fluorocarbon’s ability to become virtually invisible compensates for the line diameter in many situations) and a sensitive medium-heavy rod, these techniques can become absolutely deadly in the “trash.”
It is no secret that drop-shotting catches fish. However, it is a general consensus that it is a deep-water, light line and small bait technique only. But, with the above tackle, it can become an extremely versatile and effective technique. Replace the standard hook with an offset worm hook or an extra wide gap hook, up the weight to 1/4 ounce to 3/8 ounce, and slap on the offering of your choice. Creatures, lizards, tubes, straight-tail worms, stick worms, craw baits, pinch-tail baits, anything soft plastic. With 20 pound fluorocarbon, this rig should be good in and around grass, wood, rocks, docks, bridges, root systems, waterlines, and pretty much any conceivable cover.
Wacky worming is another applicable method. The tantalizing wiggle of a stick bait or straight tail worm has proved to be as irresistible to a big bass. However, fishing around wood cover, a bass will wrap you around the wood as soon as it is hooked. You can combat this! Slap on a weighted-kahle style hook with a weed guard (this will fold out of the way as soon as the hook is set) and you are ready to go. If you wish to have the added weight without losing the slow rate of fall, try using a larger stickbait; like the Yamamoto six inch Senko, or the Wave Worms Bamboo stick.
Yet another technique that is taking the country by storm; a shakey head jig head and straight tail worm. With the previously mentioned rod, reel, and line, this can be yet another effective “Bubba Finesse” method. Once again, use a little larger-than-average weight (sense a pattern here) and the bait of your choice and hit the lake. Instead of skin-hooking the bait, bury it below the outside of the bait to prevent fouling and snagging.
These are just a few of the popular finesse methods that can be used in heavy cover with heavy line; there are many more that can be applied to fit a unique situation. Try it sometime, you may be pleasantly surprised by the results!